Proverbs 12:9

9 Being nobody and having a servant is better than pretending to be somebody and having no food.

Proverbs 12:9 Meaning and Commentary

Proverbs 12:9

[He that is] despised, and hath a servant
Meaning not the same person as before, but one in mean circumstances of life; and because he has not that substance as others have, at least does not make that show and figure in the world as some; and mean in his own eyes, as Jarchi; and does not affect grandeur, and to look greater than he is; has just sufficiency to keep a servant to wait upon him; or, as some render it, is "a servant to himself" F16; to this purpose the Septuagint; and so Jarchi and Gersom interpret it, who does his own work at home and abroad, in the house and in the field, and so gets himself a competent living. He [is] better than he that honoureth himself, and lacketh bread;
that boasts of his pedigree, and brags of his wealth; dresses out in fine clothes, keeps a fine equipage, makes a great figure abroad, and has scarce bread to eat at home, and would have none if his debts were paid; the former is much the better man on all accounts, and more to be commended; see ( Proverbs 13:7 ) . And so, as Cocceius observes, the least shepherd (under Christ) that has ever so few sheep, one or two under his care, whom he brings to righteousness, and by whom he is loved, is preferable to the pope of Rome, who is adored by all; and yet neither has nor gives the bread of souls; and without the offerings of others has not anything to eat.


F16 (wl dbe) "servus sibiipsi", Montanus; "suiipius", Vatablus; "sibimet", Schultens.

Proverbs 12:9 In-Context

7 Sinners are destroyed and taken away. But the houses of godly people stand firm.
8 A man is praised for how wise he is. But people hate those who have twisted minds.
9 Being nobody and having a servant is better than pretending to be somebody and having no food.
10 Those who do what is right take good care of their animals. But the kindest acts of those who do wrong are mean.
11 Anyone who farms his land will have plenty of food. But a person who chases dreams has no sense.
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